May 2023 – A new king is corronated, I release two cartoons, AI’s progress continues.

A new king is corronated, I release two cartoons, AI’s progress continues, and the usual pile of links and stuff.


The king got a coronation so I wonder about pulling swords from stones and watched some protoestors and photoshopped the new monarch and his crown

Starmer was saying how Labour are the real Conservatives and he is going to be like Blair on Steroids. Faceplam. He wants to give 16 year olds the vote but what is the point when we have unrepresentative first past the past election. Hardly worth the bother for them.

I Went to Banbury Cross. Like most things in the UK, it is a traffic roundabout. Some Photos and pigeons taunting caged birds.

My short explanation of Why the Fediverse, Bluesky, and Noster came to be was brief and sloppy but apparently popular, getting boosted still today.

Sad that Microsoft discontinues the only good product they make.

Noticed that on one hand, the government is demanding the cops can read everyone’s messages, while on the other they are refusing to hand over Johnson’s own message history. One rule for us, another for them I guess. If they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear?

The robot I use to copy some Twitter people’s posts into my RSS feeds Went dark shortly after Jun 2, 2023 · 10:35 PM UTC as Twitter presumably change their API to block it.

I suspect I will not fix it, and that I will just stop reading any Twitter at all now.

Apple announce their new Headset, and it has eyes on a screen on the front. Isn’t it dark inside those headsets? I ask how that might work and get an answer.

AI stuff

I did a blog about what it’s like to program with GPT in which I mostly just keep pointing out it’s bugs until it gets it nearly right. That code helps build this newsletter now.

I was impressed by an “Interactive Point-based Manipulation on the Generative Image Manifold” What is that? The gif on this page explains it quite well.

I started using Perplexity AI which has the large models analyze traditional search results. Less trouble with it making things up, but if search becomes loaded with AIs making things up anyway that won’t last.

There was an interesting paper on examining what the nodes of the network in GPT are by using GPT-4 to analyze GPT-2’s network. Interesting stuff, I looked at a few notes and what it thinks they mean.

Still on AI, I pondered about how letting AI write for you lets Big Tech influence your very mind. Orwell’s newspeak was clumsy compared to where the AI can lead you if you let it finish your sentences.

People who think a general AI is impossible really think that intelligence is magic god juice.


Starship V0.3

The big car-chase V0.3 film is finally released!

Yatra tries to collect some data from an alien planet, and ends up in a car-chase arguing about the meaning of money!

You can watch it here:

Observers Episode 10 – AI

This month the aliens are examining the existential risk of AI

You can watch it here

Wordcloud Tarot

Best tarot reading of the month was on the King’s coronation, what will his reign be like?

Watch it here:



* Orangutan Card Trick DEBUNK – Captain Disillusion

Captain Disillusion finds it tough analyzing a monkey magic trick.

* Debt & Ownership – Gary’s Economics

Gary takes us through why money and debt are the same thing and so on average there’s zero money in the economy and everyone who is rich now, whether they realize it or not, got rich by shorting the pound. Is debt-based money that governments can print to give to their mates really the best money?

* The Fastest Maze-Solving Competition On Earth – Veritiasium

Veritasium does a show about the MicroMouse competition in which engineers compete to build little robot mice that solve maze. Fascinating stuff.


* Constitutional AI: RLHF On Steroids – by Scott Alexander

What if instead of training a transformer with human feedback, you just looped the AI to keep asking itself to rewrite it’s answer more ethically. Scott Alexander tells us about Constitutional AI, which the company doing it thinks works better.

* Naomi klein on ai company mass theft

Generative AI will end poverty, they tell us. It will cure all disease. It will solve climate change. It will make our jobs more meaningful and exciting. It will unleash lives of leisure and contemplation, helping us reclaim the humanity we have lost to late capitalist mechanization. It will end loneliness. It will make our governments rational and responsive. These, I fear, are the real AI hallucinations and we have all been hearing them on a loop ever since Chat GPT launched at the end of last year

* Google’s AI Hype Circle. We have to do Bard because everyone else is doing AI; everyone else is doing AI because we’re doing Bard.

Cory is great: Google has a serious AI problem. That problem isn’t “how to integrate AI into Google products?” That problem is “how to exclude AI-generated nonsense from Google products?” – Google is piling into solving the former problem, and in so doing, it’s making the latter — far more serious problem — worse.

* The Problem With Counterfeit People

Dan dennet says “These counterfeit people are the most dangerous artifacts in human history, capable of destroying not just economies but human freedom itself. Before it’s too late (it may well be too late already) we must outlaw both the creation of counterfeit people and the “passing along” of counterfeit people. The penalties for either offense should be extremely severe, given that civilization itself is at risk.”

New AI products

* Perplexity AI

Perplexity AI is a GPT-assisted internet search, so you get some references.It’s doing pretty good, not falling for my cheap tricks, can be confused. Likely better search than google, especially for less technical folks.

* AudioPen

Ramble into your microphone barely coherently for up to 3 minutes and have the language models clean it up into nicely argued and presented text.

* GitHub – XingangPan/DragGAN: Code for DragGAN (SIGGRAPH 2023)

Drag Your GAN – a paper (code coming in June) where researchers have software enabling a AI image-generator’s results to be edited by specifying drag points, letting you animate and move it and pose the creatures in the images.

AI doom podcasts

* Stephen Wolfram: ChatGPT and the Nature of Truth, Reality & Computation | Lex Fridman Podcast

That last hour when it’s Lex and Wolfram talking about the nature of computation and consciousness and existence and the necessary existence of the set of all possible computations.

* Discussion / debate with AI expert Eliezer Yudkowsky

Yudkowsky on the Accursed Farms podcast.

* Live: Eliezer Yudkowsky – Is Artificial General Intelligence too Dangerous to Build?

Yudkowsky on Center For The Future Mind

* Zvi Mowshowitz & Robin Hanson Discuss AI Risk

Robin Hanson talking to Zvi about AI Risk for nearly 3 hours.

Politics / Media

* Climate Breakdown, Extinction And ‘The Most Stupid Boast’ – Media Lens

Journalists who proclaim themselves to be ‘free’, and boast that ‘nobody has ever told me what to write’, are mentally chained to a corporate system that is structurally incapable of critiquing itself. The mass media is the propaganda wing of this planetary-destruction system of state power and economic exploitation. Corporate journalists have only the ‘freedom’ to be reliable servants to power and profit, reporting on mere scuffles between different political factions of the establishment. At best, ‘free’ journalists potter around the edges of the state-corporate behemoth that is driving humanity towards the abyss.

* Sam Harris | #320 – Constructing Self and World

Sam Harris and Shamil Chandaria have a great conversation about the way neural networks of bioloigcal and silicon work, how basyian reasoning can be solved by backward feedback and how that’s what they both do, and much more

* The Twilight of Freedom – Craig Murray

Craig Murray talking about our creeping removal of legal freedom and persecution of journalists: “To complete the horror, there is no longer a genuine opposition within the political class. Keir Starmer’s Labour Party opposes none of this wave of attacks on civil liberties. The SNP has been sending out identical stock replies from its MPs on Julian Assange, 100% backing the UK government line on his extradition and imprisonment. . . .I feel this very personally. I know all of these people affected – Julian, Alex, Kit, Vanessa, Johanna, and view them as colleagues whose rights I defend, even though I do not always agree with all of their disparate views.”


That’s just the highlights this month, there’s more in my full public bookmarks from my link-bot on the fediverse or an RSS feed

Around the Fediverse

Big Corporate social media is sucking the life out out of you! Rebel, join the federation! Small is better! Here’s some of the best I saw this month.

Notable Newbies

* – Gutenberg Project

We just joined Mastodon, please follow us. Still more posts to come soon.


* – does a nice coronation picture.

“and with the ceremonial Whirling of the Plates successfully completed, Charles is now King of England”

* – shows us a lovely optical illusion

The Müller-Lyer illusion: an arrow shaft appears longer when two arrowheads point inward vs outward.This animation is striking if you’ve only seen the more common static version!GIF by “Ruotailfoglio” from Wikimedia Commons / linked Wikipedia article.üller-Lyer_illusion

* – explains the actual UK law on government/corporate internet monitoring:

Must all UK Internet access providers keep records of which websites I visit? – blog

* – laments all the AI submissions to his sci-fi short-story magazine:

Spent some time swatting at “AI” spam from the beach. Yeah, another spike. Bans are back up to February levels. This says about all I need to: Chart is bans. Not total submissions.

* – has made nice animated posters.

Then I made a BETTER animated gif with the URL on it. d’Oh!

* had a great blog post on networks and ghosts and architecture.

Wrote about recursive ghosts and standing waves and internalized surveillance and the trouble in our networks and Chris Alexander


* – is worried about the AI spam we are going to face too:

Imagine in a few years being able to say to chatgpt8:Please promote my product on the fediverse by registering 100,000 accounts over the course of 12 weeks on at least 500 different instances, weighted by instance size. These accounts should be conversational and engaging with other members and should not be detectable as bots. 10% of of these bots should express skepticism in my product, and the remaining bots should engage them in a public discourse to correct their misunderstanding. Monitor the sentiment of people discussing my product and develop an optimal strategy to maximize that sentiment. “

Fedi on Fedi

* – tells us about Calckey:

“Today is the day I talk about what #Calckey is and what it does. 🧵In this thread, I will explore what I believe to be the most important features of Calckey. SPOILER ALERT: While Calckey focuses on microblogging, that’s where its similarities with #Mastodon (and #Twitter) end. @fediversenews”

* – is admin, and now starts a new calckey instance if you wanna try it:

All the cool kids are playing with calckey. I didn’t want to left out, so introducing:! (a new calckey instance)

* – on having multiple Fediverse accounts:

My advice to anyone with the slightest sliver of interest in Calckey is, just go right now and make an account. Download your following.csv from Mastodon or whatever, then upload it in to Calckey…. I regularly download and merge in the followings.csv from each. I keep up with seeing my Fediverse people no matter which Fediverse platform I am viewing from. That’s the real beauty of not being in walled off, proprietary enclosures. Do both, do several, try many as you like.

* – has good news about an upcomming even-more-decentralized Cult of Dead Cow project, to be launched in August.

This Summer. We restore the future together. has teamed up with cDc to take back our birthright from the billionaires who squander our best hope for a better future. No more. Veilid is here, and it is our chance to restore, recover, and rebuild.

* – had to move his account, on fediverse this is easy: (my old instance) will be shutting down in June. Which means, I had to migrate. So let’s talk about how well that went, what didn’t work and what your expectations should be. – I put the story on my blog


* – Swears a lot about the Bluesky protocol

…It is complex solely for the sake of being complex and still suffers from *all* of the same problems as Mastodon.Your server goes down? Sorry, all of your followers are lost. Account portability is no better than Mastodon…


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